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Bridging the Gap: Ensuring Digital Equity through WiFi Hotspot Lending

Since colleges and universities across the country moved to emergency remote learning for the spring 2020 semester, it has become abundantly clear there is a very real digital divide among students (and families) who have access to a home computer and/or reliable, high-speed Internet and those that do not. With many classes again being offered through online modalities for the Fall 2020, and social distancing guidelines limiting computer lab space, this divide will continue to inhibit students' abilities to easily complete their course work. To ease the digital divide and improve students’ academic success, Montana State University (MSU) Library requests funding for four Wi-Fi hotspots and data plans to increase access to the Internet for those students most in need. The Wi-Fi hotspots will be loaned to students on medium- to long-term check-outs to enable them access their course content either as on-campus or online students. The hotspots will be offered through an application process to identify students with high-need and marketed to programs on campus that already work closely with underrepresented students.
Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Adults
Teens
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
Library or information professional
Student, college & post-grad
Project Lead:
Meghan Salsbury
Funding Source: 
PNR
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
2020
Funding Amount: 
$12000
Funding Period:
Aug 17, 2020 to Apr 30, 2021
Project Status:
In Progress